Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.
Here's chapter Fifty!
Hope you enjoy it!
No one could fix the corridor. There was an announcement at breakfast the following morning warning students to stay away from the fifth floor whilst Professor Flitwick tried to find a way to reverse the spells that the marauders had cast to sink the hallway. This didn't stop people wandering up there though. Most were curious to see if the marauders had actually managed to sink the floor. It was only when they fell through and broke something, meaning they had to be carted off to see Madam Pomfrey, that they believed it to be true. Sometimes James and Sirius encouraged the younger years to go and test it out. Every time they did this though, they earned themselves another detention. By the time they got bored of this they had racked up a total of twenty-eight detentions adding to the one that all the marauders were to serve for sinking the corridor in the first place. They served this detention on Wednesday night.
The detention was to take place in Professor Linkedin's office; the new Defence Against the Dark Art's teacher. This was very unfortunate for her as Sirius Black had taken it upon himself to torture her since she set homework for them on their first day back at school. He disrupted all of her classes, not just the ones he was in but her other classes too. He did this by sprinkling sneezing powder in all of the text books. Replacing all the ink in her ink pots with butterbeer and replacing all her quills with sugar quills so that even if she did find some ink she was still unable to write. And he stacked up all of the chairs in the classroom using a permanent sticking charm on the all so they couldn't be unstacked, (James' idea). He did many other little things as well, sometimes aided by James, sometimes solo. As he had said on that first day, giving homework was a good way to make some enemies. And she had made an extremely annoying and abnormal one in him.
'Professor. Professor. Professor. Professor. Professor. Professor. Prof-'
'Yes Mr Black?' Professor Linkedin said through gritted teeth, almost pulling her hair out. He had been doing this for the past half an hour and James Potter, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew were doing nothing to stop him. In fact, they just sat there laughing, annoying her further.
'Nothing.' Sirius said, sitting back in his chair and swinging on the two back legs.
James reached out and pushed him off his chair, laughing as he did so.
'That's not funny Prongs!' Sirius whined as he clambered up off of the floor.
'Yeah it is!' James laughed, throwing the Quaffle he had brought with him up the air and catching it as gravity brought it back down into his hands.
Professor Linkedin squeezed her hands on her head, her nails digging into her skull. This little routine had been repeated at least twelve times since she had been watching them. She had told them to stop it the first six times they had performed this monotonous little charade but had given up after that as it was obviously no use. She was really regretting, not only taking detention duty, but taking the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts in the first place. The rest of the students seemed alright but they also seemed to mill around these four. These extremely annoying four boys who she just wished would stop annoying her and walk out of detention. But unfortunately for her they wouldn't. And she didn't know why as they were obvious rule breakers. Why wouldn't they break this rule?
She looked at the four boys in turn, starting with Peter Pettigrew. He was a small lump of a boy and seemed to have no real substance in this group of friends. Nevertheless, he seemed to be accepted as their equal even though, in appearance and magical ability, he was anything but. He was short, stubby and chubby with pasty white skin, watery blue eyes and blonde straw like hair. He was the complete opposite of his friends this way. He was also the opposite of his friends in the way of magical ability too. From the way he performed in her classes though, she could tell that he did have potential in Defence Against the Dark Arts but didn't have the confidence to explore it. This lack of confidence worked against him. But even if he did have the confidence to take advantage of his abilities, she doubted he would be able to defeat say, Remus Lupin, in a duel.
Remus Lupin was sat at the desk next to Peters with his feet up on the table, balancing the book he had brought with him on his head. As hard as it was to believe, he was the most sensible one out of the four. He fit in to this group easier than Peter though as he took what seemed to be the standard form of appearance in this group of boys. He was a tall lad and was thin and muscular. For all intents and purposes, he was handsome. He had light brown hair, light brown eyes and a kind face which was easy to look at. However, he constantly looked tired and was pale and scarred with slightly shabby robes. The tiredness and scars, Professor Linkedin put down to his lycanthropy, (she had been informed of his condition by Dumbledore when she had taken up the post). The shabby robes actually suited him. He was extremely skilled in the way of Defence Against the Dark Arts. He was easily her best pupil in the seventh year. He always handed in his work on time and it was always to an O standard but she still felt that he could improve further if he wasn't constantly side tracked by the bad influence of James Potter and Sirius Black.
Professor Linkedin actually liked James Potter. He was witty, charming and funny but he annoyed her extensively. He had more talent in his little finger than most of her students could ever dream to have in a lifetime. But he never applied himself. Personally she thought that he was an odd choice for head boy, a role model to all pupils. She had at some points wondered whether his appointment at that post had more to do with his looks than his record. He too took the standard form of this group of boys. He was a tall lad and was thin and well-toned. He was handsome too. Even more handsome that Remus was. He had jet black, messy hair which Professor Linkedin noticed he took great pride in messing up, and warm hazel brown eyes framed by round, black glasses. His handsome face was stare worthy and he always seemed to have a laughing grin upon it. Apart from his messy hair, he was always well dressed, obviously coming from a good family home. He was a good student in class but a nightmare to handle and receive homework from. He hadn't handed in one satisfactory piece of homework since she took over the class. When he did hand his work in it usually consisted of the title of the essay, a half-hearted attempt at starting it and then a page full of doodles. One thing she had noticed about him was that he doodled a lot. Something she didn't always mind as when he doodled, she had a chance to deal with Sirius Black.
Sirius Black was even more of a nightmare that James Potter. He seemed to be the catalyst for the group's behaviour. He, along with James, seemed to be the leaders the group but it also seemed that Sirius was the one who suggested half of their mischievous wrong-doings. It was a shame really. Like James, Sirius had more talent in his little finger than most of the students Professor Linkedin saw could ever hope to have. He did apply himself but it was always to the wrong thing. He applied himself to being a nuisance and succeeded quite nicely at it. Professor Linkedin was sure that if he put half as much energy into his work in her lessons as he did to being annoying he could easily overtake Remus and be the top of the class. But he wouldn't. He seemed more interested in the attention he got from the girls because of his looks. Again, he took of the standard tall, thin and well-toned form that the group of boys, (excluding Peter), had going for them. He was the most handsome out of all four of them with sleek black hair reaching his shoulders which he took pride in perfecting and sparkling grey eyes. His handsome face was almost breath-taking and, like James, he always seemed to have a grin on his face. He too was always smartly dressed but always seemed to have some sort of food substance spilt down him.
At the minute, he and James Potter were tossing James' Quaffle back and forth between them shouting out nonsense words loudly as they did so.
'Bathsheba!' Sirius said as he caught the Quaffle before throwing it back skilfully to James who caught it with ease.
'Wilberforce.' James replied, throwing the red Quidditch ball back through the air.
'Hezekiah!' Sirius said.
'Xeric.' James said.
'You can't have Elvendork that's mine!' James moaned, not returning the Quaffle to Sirius.
'And?' Sirius retorted, 'I'll have whatever codename I want!'
'Codenames?' Remus questioned, balancing another book on his head atop the one that was already there, 'Why do you need codenames?'
'In case we decide to go undercover one day!' James said happily.
Professor Linkedin was finally starting to relax. It seemed to her that the boys were finally beginning to forget to annoy her and instead focus on a pointless conversation which revolved around what codenames they would have when they went undercover and why they were going undercover. She breathed a deep sigh of relief and thanked Merlin for giving her peace. Careful to stay quiet so that the boy's attention wouldn't suddenly turn back to her, she opened the second drawer in her desk and took out the scrolls of parchment which were the seventh year's latest homework assignments. She softly closed the second drawer and opened the first to take out a quill and an ink pot, all ready for marking, and began to tackle the mountain of scrolls.
She first marked Frank Longbottom's essay. She read through the page and corrected the few mistakes that there were and checked the theory behind his points. She assessed how well written the essay was before writing down his grade, an E, and signing the bottom of the page with her signature. She did this for three more essays belonging to three more of her pupils. The first belonged to Lily Evans and Professor Linkedin gave her an E also. The second was Alice Prewett and she gave her an E as well. The last was Mary MacDonald's and Professor Linkedin gave an A. She then moved onto the next scroll which she opened to find nothing but a name on it.
'Is that mine?' Sirius said, appearing at her side, frightening the life out of her and leaning on his forearms on her desk. 'Some of my best work don't you think?' he went on to say, nodding as if trying to programme her to nod along with him.
'It's only got your name on it.' James said, appearing on Professor Linkedin's other side in exactly the same position as Sirius, again scaring the socks off of her by his sudden appearance.
'Exactly.' Sirius beamed, 'It's got my FULL name on it! Sirius Orion Black!' he said, pointing out the name on the piece of parchment as if it was hard to spot even though they were the only words on the page, 'I can never usually make it past my first name.'
'He is right.' Remus said, appearing next to James, the new voice once more frightening Professor Linkedin because the boys seemed to be appearing from nowhere, 'He can never usually spell his first name.'
'How can you not spell your own first name?' Peter said, popping up at the front of the desk as if he had been hiding underneath it, again shocking Professor Linkedin who just wished they would sit in silence, stop crowding her and leave her alone.
'It's hard ok?' Sirius said, dramatically pretending to sniff on the verge of tears, 'Some of us weren't blessed with simply spelt names. My name has two spellings.'
'And that's hard for someone with average brains.' James pointed out, 'Think of how hard it must be for him!'
'Hey!' Sirius said to James, stopping his dramatics. He then looked down at the mark Professor Linkedin was giving him. 'Hey!' he repeated, saddened by the T that she had just written on his paper. 'I deserve more than a T!'
'He's right.' Remus agreed.
'Look!' James said, pointing to the name again, 'Not only has he spelt his first name right he's spelt his middle name and last name right too! That deserves at least a P!'
'Exactly!' Peter approved.
Professor Linkedin did her best to ignore the annoying boys and tried desperately to continue with her marking. She signed her name to Sirius' homework and set it to her left side onto the growing pile of marked work. Then, she grabbed the next scroll of parchment from the right and unravelled it ready to mark. But as soon as she saw whose homework she had opened, she regretted not leaving her marking till they had gone.
'Hey that's mine!' James smiled happily, pointing to the parchment Professor Linkedin had just opened. It had his name in the top corner, the title of the essay, five words introducing what he was going to write about and then a page full of doodles. He thought it was some of his best work.
'That's quite good Prongs!' Sirius said, nodding his head and pulling James' 'essay' towards him just as Professor Linkedin was about to write on it.
'Yeah you're getting better!' Peter commented, leaning over the desk to look at the parchment, he head coming quite close to Professor Linkedin's. So close that she sat back in her seat to move away from him.
'Thanks! I thought that too.' James said proudly, placing his hand on his heart.
'Is that a Bludger?' Sirius asked, pointing to a blurry sort of circle on James' homework as he moved it away slightly from Professor Linkedin's grabbing hands.
James paused slightly and stared at his homework for a couple of seconds before slowly and sadly pointing out, 'It's a snitch.'
Sirius squinted at the parchment for a couple of seconds before nodding his head slowly. 'Oh.' he said in realisation, 'Yeah you're not getting better at all.'
'You're getting worse.' Remus joined in as Professor Linkedin took James' homework back with a great, annoyed, steadying breath. She started to read his five words, quill poised ready to mark.
'Oh come on!' James said, moving his homework out from underneath a frustrated and wide eyed Professor Linkedin. 'You can tell that's a broom!' he continued.
Sirius leaned over Professor Linkedin and peered at the drawing James was pointing too. 'Looks more like a wand.' he said, 'Needs more…broomage.'
'Fine.' James said, taking the quill out of Professor Linkedin's hand and scribbling on the page at the bottom of what looked like a stick, 'There you go!' he continued, ignoring Professor Linkedin's reprimands for taking her quill, 'Broomage!'
'No not enough.' Sirius said taking Professor Linkedin's quill off of James, ignoring her protests as James had before. He pulled James' homework towards him and scribbled furiously over the top of James' scribble. 'More like this.' continued Sirius, picking up the parchment away from Linkedin's grasp and showing Remus, 'What do you think Moony?'
'Definitely an O grade piece of work.' Remus commended with a nod of his head.
'Definitely.' Peter repeated.
'See.' Sirius said cockily, putting down James' homework and the quill so that Professor Linkedin could give it a mark, 'I've got the knack.' he went on to say to which James stuck his tongue out at him for.
'This one's Moony's!' Peter squeaked out into the middle of the conversation, alerting James, Remus and Sirius to Professor Linkedin's latest effort to mark the homework essays.
'What do you think he'll get?' James said to Sirius over the top of Professor Linkedin's head as she read through Remus' essay.
'Probably a T.' Sirius replied, earning a laughing smile from Remus who enjoyed their jokes.
'Yeah. He does suck at this subject.' James conceded as Professor Linkedin finished reading Remus' essay through, no corrections.
'Wait!' Sirius almost yelled, 'She's giving it an O.'
'No.' James said, 'She's gonna turn it into a smiley face!' James went on to say, snatching the quill out of Professor Linkedin's hand. Inside the O she had written, James drew two dots and a curved line creating a smiley face on the paper. 'See!' he went on to say in an arrogant and cocky manner, throwing the quill down onto the desk in front of Professor Linkedin.
Sirius looked down at the paper and said in recognition of James' smiley face, 'Oh yeah!' He continued to look at the parchment as Professor Linkedin signed her name. He noticed something. 'Hey!' he went on, 'I didn't know that's how you spelt your name miss!'
'Looks like two separate words.' Peter pointed out, leaning over to peer at her signature.
'Linked in.' Remus stated.
'Are you linked in to something miss?' James asked.
'Linked in to a chain?' Peter asked.
'Linked in to a gang?' Remus asked.
'Or linked into a chain gang?' James suggested, stroking his chin in mock suspicion.
'She could be linked in to our undercover work!' Sirius gasped happily, banging his hand excitably on the table. Things moved on quickly from here. As if they actually were planning to go undercover and what they were discussing was top secret.
'She'll need a code name.' Remus said.
'How about we give her Elvendork.' James said.
'It is Unisex.' Remus replied.
'Perfect.' James said.
'Now she just needs a cape.' Sirius said.
'A cape?' Peter asked.
'You can't go undercover without a cape.' Sirius pointed out.
'That's what covers you.' James went on.
'Right!' Professor Linkedin said, standing up and reaching her wits end. Detention or not, she couldn't cope with these boys anymore. She grabbed Sirius and James' collars and gestured for Remus and Peter to follow her. 'That's it!' she went on as she dragged and led them to the door, 'Out of my classroom!'
'Was it something we said?' Remus asked with a laughing smile which was present on all the marauders faces.
'Do you not like the name?' Sirius said.
'We can change it!' Peter said.
'We probably should.' James said, more to his friends as she pushed them out of the door, 'She doesn't really suit the name Elvendork.'
Professor Linkedin slammed the door in their faces and breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that she was free of them. She took a deep breath to relax herself and walked over to her desk to continue marking. She sat down and picked up her quill serenely, ready to read the next homework essay when she heard the door squeak open again.
'Peter was wondering what grade he got and-'
'OUT!' Professor Linkedin yelled. No sooner had she yelled the door slammed shut and Professor Linkedin took a deep breath. Yes. She was definitely regretting coming to teach at Hogwarts.
On Thursday morning, second period, her only free period of the day, Lily Evans was sat in the library finishing off a homework assignment for Ancient Runes which was due in later that day. She was rather mad at herself about this homework really. She would have had it done by now, finished it last night, the day they were set the work because she usually did her homework as soon as she got it. But James had talked her into sneaking out for a secret date with him the previous night and, even though she had been adamant to get the work done, he had somehow managed to persuade her. She wasn't quite sure how. Still, this left her Ancient Runes homework half done and this free period was the only chance she had to finish it.
She had been in the library for only fifteen minutes and the table she was at was already cluttered with her stuff. She had spread out on it so completely that no one else was able to use the table but her. Lily didn't mind this though. She didn't care that people thought she was hogging a table because, through hogging the table and scattering her stuff across it, she was left in peace to work; the way she liked it. She hated it when people interrupted her studying, no matter who it was. It could be Hestia and she would still motion for her to disappear until she was finished. Over the years, people had learnt not to disturb her whilst she was cocooned in her work and books.
Everything on her table was just so. It was all the way she liked it, positioned in such a way that she knew where everything was and so that it was all within easy reaching distance. Straight in front of her, lined up neatly in a horizontal row and open to the right page, were four of her reference books. These were the ones she wasn't using at the minute but might need to look at any moment. The reference book she was using was on her left side so that she could glance at it and still keep writing. Also on her left side, placed vertically between the parchment she was writing on and the book she was referencing was her wand. It was there in case of ink spillages or corrections. In front of her was the work she was doing on a three foot scroll of parchment. A quill was in her right hand and an ink pot placed at the top of her essay for quick and easy refills. To her right side, all placed nice and neatly in a straight column, was a roll of spare parchment, two spare quills and three spare inkpots. One of these spare ink pots was colour changing ink because, after all, what was life without a little whimsy? When people looked at how she had spread herself out, they usually commented that she was a neat freak with, for those who knew what it was and grew up in the muggle world, a touch of O.C.D. She just believed that she was organised and if they didn't accept her for that then that was just too damn bad! It was their loss.
She was wrapped up in her own little world in the quiet library. She had blocked out the low hushed whispers and the scratching of quills on parchment as others made an effort to complete their own work. It was solitude in a group of people also seeking solitude. All that she saw, heard or knew about was on the desk in front of her. She was getting on really well thanks to her 'study bubble' and was sure that she was going to finish by the end of her free period, perhaps even before if she carried on the way she was. As long as nobody interrupted her or she didn't get distracted, she would be fine. But that wasn't meant to be.
She felt his presence before she saw him and attempted to ignore him at first. She continued with her work, writing on her parchment, referencing her open text book and dipping her quill in her ink pot. Carrying on determinedly, she was able to pay no attention to him as sat next to her, staring at her, for five whole minutes. After this, she was unable to disregard his presence any longer.
'Has it escaped your attention that I am trying to study?' she asked him, relaxing her writing hand and finally turning to face him.
'No.' he answered, smirking as he was enjoying this greatly.
'Then, no offence, but can you leave and let me get on with it?' she requested with raised eyebrows, pointing her quill to the door.
'Offence taken and no.' he stated, still smirking.
'James!' she sighed, hanging her head, 'Do you take great pride in annoying me or something?'
'Yes.' James replied honestly, 'It's one of my greatest skills. When I apply to be an auror I'm gonna put it on my application. 'James Potter. Masterfully skilled in the art of annoying one Lily Evans'. That's what I'll put.'
Lily bit her lip, biting back a smile, and looked into his warm hazel eyes shaking her head fondly. 'I'd say you were joking but knowing you you'd actually do that!'
'See!' James smiled, 'This getting to know each other better thing on dates is working!'
'I don't need to be dating you to know that.' Lily whispered to him, very conscious that people might hear them. She looked at him one last time, waiting for him to reply. When all he did was laugh at her remark, she busied herself with returning to her studies. She was curious to know why he was there but not enough to risk not finishing her homework.
James leaned over to take her quill out of her hands to stop her writing. 'Aren't you curious to know why I'm here?' he questioned her, placing the quill on the crowded but organised desk next to him. He placed his hand over the quill so Lily couldn't get it back.
Lily looked around to make sure no one was eavesdropping into their conversation before saying in a low hushed whisper, unable to keep a smile off of her face, 'I assume to plan our next date.'
James smiled back at her and leaned in a bit closer so that their faces were just over a foot apart. He didn't go any further that this though, as much as he wanted too, because he knew Lily still wanted to keep everything a secret. With his smile still lighting up his face though, James simply replied to Lily, 'No.'
Lily frowned. If he wasn't here for that then why was he here? What was so important that he had seeked her out at the library, a place he never came unless the situation sincerely demanded it? It was a place that none of the marauders, apart from maybe Remus, hardly used at all which was why she had assumed he had chosen to talk to her about their next date here. There was next to no chance of his friends finding him here. But this obviously wasn't the reason he was here. Why was he here then?
'If that's not what you wanted then why are you here?' Lily asked. Then a though occurred to her and she sighed in exasperation and sarcasm. 'Are you lost?'
James chuckled and ran a hand through his hair, leaning back slightly in the chair he was sat on. 'No.' he said.
'Then why are you here?' Lily repeated, her curiosity once more getting the better of her and taking over. She turned away from her homework to face him fully now. Question was etched on her face.
James thought for a second. 'I want to plan our next date.' he whispered to her in a sudden decision, picking up her quill and twiddling it around in his hands.
'But you said that you weren't here for that.' Lily said.
'I know.' James said, once more leaning in closer to her but careful to keep a respectable distance in public, 'I'm here for a different reason. But you're not going to know what that reason unless you plan a date with me.'
Lily shook her head and rolled her eyes at him. 'Fine.' she said, pretending to be annoyed. She wasn't really. She was having fun with James; planning dates, sneaking around, talking to him and kissing him. He was a good kisser. The feeling she got in the pit of her stomach when she was with him was indescribable. And now he wanted to plan the next time they would sneak out, that feeling returned to her. 'Is it gonna be another picnic?' she asked with a knowing smile on her face, her homework completely forgotten.
'No…' James said, looking away. He made a mental note to stop planning so many picnics. Now that he tallied it up in his head, all but one of the dates he had planned were picnics. 'You gotta admit picnics are cool though.'
'In moderation.' Lily teased.
'Always!' James said with a Sirius style puppy dog pout causing Lily to laugh and once again shake her head at him. He didn't mind. He liked making her laugh. When her laughter faded out he continued with a suggestion. 'How about we skip our patrol tomorrow and go down to Hogsmeade?'
'We can't just skip a patrol!' Lily protested in a hushed voice, still making sure that no one could hear them. Every so often she would glance around to make sure that the other students in the library weren't listening in on their conversation. 'And we can't sneak out to Hogsmeade at night either! Someone might recognise us.'
'Never stopped me before.'
'That's what's stopped me before…'
'Really?' Lily said, raising her eyebrows and biting her lip to hold back a laugh. She wasn't silly or naïve. She knew that James had probably sneaked out numerous of times to Hogsmeade at night along with the other marauders. It was just funny to see him try and make excuses. 'That's what you're going with?' she continued.
'Least I said something.' James shrugged.
'Might have been better if you didn't.' Lily said, the laugh she had been holding back forcing its way out in the form of a small giggle. When it had subsided, she continued. 'We still can't sneak out to Hogsmeade. What if we went into the three broomsticks and Madam Rosmerta noticed us and let it slip.'
'I don't think that would happen.' James said shaking his head, 'She doesn't work the night shift on a Friday.'
Lily raised her eyebrows but let it go. If she questioned how he knew that, (a question she already knew the answer to), she would have to suffer through a poorly made up excuse which, although admittedly would make her laugh, would just be a waste of time. Time which she realised was passing by quickly and she needed to finish her homework.
Lily reiterated her original point. 'We can't skip our patrol.'
'How about we just skip school altogether tomorrow then?' James suggested.
'We can't skip school!' Lily said with a slight gasp at the suggestion. Did he not know her at all? She'd have thought he would have after the hours they had spent together. Lily didn't skip school. She had only once ever snuck out when she wasn't supposed to and that was because of James the previous year. She couldn't blame it all on him of course. She had wanted to leave. It was the first Hogsmeade visit and she had been given an unjust detention by her Ancient Runes professor, Professor Babbling. Add James Potter into that situation and it was almost inevitable that she had been convinced to sneak out. Still, she had never snuck out again and James suggesting that they skip school was ludicrous. He just didn't understand why.
'Why?' James asked her with a slight frown.
'Because we're head students.' Lily stated as if it were obvious.
'Exactly.' James said, taking the opposite side of the stick or so to speak, 'We can give ourselves permission.'
'No we can't.' Lily replied.
'You're right.' James said, nodding his head in thought. He then clicked his fingers as if he had had a great idea. 'How about you give me permission and I give you permission?'
'No.' Lily shook her head.
'But what if-'
'No!' Lily laughed in disbelief, 'I'm not skipping school!'
'Yeah ok.' James conceded, sensing a losing battle here, 'That was a bit of a long shot.'
'You think?' Lily said, 'Now, as much as I am loving this conversation, I do still have to finish my homework.'
'Ok.' James sighed, 'How about I think of something and run it by you tomorrow on patrols-'
Lily started to protest.
'-which we won't skip.' he finished, knowing what she was going to say.
Lily smiled at him and he smirked in reply. 'Thank you.' Lily said, 'Now what did you actually come here for?'
'Ah!' James said, wiggling his eyebrows, 'You remembered that did you? Aroused your curiosity did I? Peeked your intellect? Your inquisitive-'
'Just tell me!' Lily said, smacking him on the arm.
'Glad you stopped me there.' he laughed in reply, rubbing his arm where Lily had hit him. Not because it hurt just because it was an automatic reflex. 'I had no idea what I was going to say next.'
Lily shook her head at him and watched him whilst he reached into the inside of his robes, obviously rummaging around for something. Then, as he withdrew his hand, Lily gasped in surprised happiness. James was holding her missing bracelet, the entwined strands of dirty and faded purple cotton hanging limply from his fingers. Lily reached out and took it off him, her happiness reaching her eyes and making them shine with a smile.
'You found it!' she said gladly. Then, without thinking, she threw her arms around him in a hug, squeezing him tightly through her joy. She stayed there for at least five seconds before pulling away, kissing him on the cheek unthinkingly as she did so.
'People are watching.' James pointed out to her in a whisper.
But Lily, with a happy smile on her face and threading her bracelet through her fingers, simply said, 'At the minute I don't care!'
'Fair enough.' James laughed, loving her shining smile which made her emerald eyes sparkle.
'Where did you find it?' she asked him, not taking her eyes off of her bracelet as if she was scared that it would disappear as soon as she glanced away from it.
'It was in my bag.' James said, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms behind his head completely and utterly relaxed.
'What was it doing in your bag?' Lily wondered out loud. She thought back through the last week and to where she might have lost it. When she had done this previously she had only thought of where she had been and not what she had done. But now she was and she had a completely plausible theory as to why her bracelet had ended up in James Potter's bag. 'You know,' she began, 'it probably fell off in there when I put all your stuff back in your bag last Friday. Remember? After you threw it across the table it a jealous fit?'
James rolled his eyes. 'I was not jealous. And don't you have homework to finish?'
'You're changing the subject.' Lily said with a knowing smile, teasing him much to his dislike.
'Yes I am.' James said, standing up, 'And I'm leaving too. You have homework and I have…well nothing to do.' he conceded, then going into thought and absentmindedly saying out loud, 'I'm gonna go get some jelly.'
Lily laughed and said goodbye to him, once again thanking him for finding her bracelet for her and saying she'd see him in charms next lesson. She watched him go with a fond smile. When he had left the library completely, she bit her lip and looked down at the bracelet in her hands, so happy that she had it back. Not knowing why, she kissed her bracelet and then scrunched it up tight in her left hand, determined this time not to lose it. The she picked up her quill and continued with her homework, extremely happy for the rest of her free period. She was undoubtedly the happiest person in the library. But what had caused her happiness had caused someone else's anger.
Severus Snape was sat a few tables behind her, obscured from her view by a couple of towers of books which he had strategically placed in front of himself. He had taken, over the past week, to follow Lily into the library and sit and watch her study. He liked to do this, but today he had hated it. Today he had to endure her happy conversation with Potter.
He had no idea what they had been talking about, sat too far away to be able to hear their hushed whispers, but he had seen them. Smiling at each other. Lily had been chatting away happily to Potter when he had distracted her from her work, something she would have usually skinned you alive for, no matter who you were. But she didn't with him, and that tore Severus up. Then he had had to watch the arrogant James Potter return Lily's beloved bracelet, receiving a thankful hug and a kiss on the cheek for finding it, breaking his heart in the process as Lily's lips made contact with Potter's skin. That was not what he had hoped for when he had planted the bracelet in James' possession.
The first part of his plan to distance Lily from the poisonous ties of James Potter's friendship had been ruined. Obviously they were closer that Severus had guessed. He would have to think of something else now. Something that would force Lily to see that James Potter was still the arrogant git from fifth year. Something that he knew would make her look at James Potter the way she had back then and remind her why she had hated him. But what?
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